Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue has criticised Minister Michael Creed for standing over the appalling delays in payments to farmers under the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) II scheme.

The latest data from the Department of Agriculture reveals that out of 11,064 approved applications only 1,592 farmers have had their payment approved to date.

“Farmers right across the country are very angry at the inexcusable delays in issuing TAMS payments.  Just over 11,000 farmers have applied to the scheme, adhering to all the terms and conditions.  However, the bulk of them have been left waiting for months for their applications to be processed”, explained Deputy McConalogue.

“The delay in TAMS payments is representative of wider problems within the Departments payments system.  These delays are also being experienced by farmers who have applied to the GLAS scheme.

“Fianna Fáil has recently exposed how 92% of TAMS 2 funding (€389m) remains unspent at the midway point of the Rural Development Programme 2014-20. This is a shocking state of affairs.

“Farmers are stressed out wondering when they will get their payments.  Many of them are under serious financial strain, urgently needing these payments to ensure that bills are paid”, concluded Deputy McConalogue.